Researcher Frank da Cruz has done some serious groundwork to uncover the history of Reiss Field on the east side of Bronx Park, opposite Reiss Place, just north of Pelham Parkway. This ball field stands precisely where the Parks Department press release of October 31, 1939, announces a playground “designed by the Department of Parks and built for the Park Department by the Work Projects Administration“: a “1.36 acre playground in Bronx Park adjacent to Bronx Park East opposite Reiss Place, contains one shuffleboard, four horseshoe pitching, five paddle tennis, two volleyball and two basketball courts, completely encircled by a roller skating track … built on a former swamp area”. But what we have here is a ball field, not a playground. Anyway this would seem an odd place for a playground since Waring Playground is only about 400 feet away. I think whoever wrote the press release was confused, and was describing Waring Playground. Because the Parks Department has a Reiss Field page, which states that “Reiss Field opened on November 1, 1939, with one baseball diamond, a backstop and dugouts, a drinking fountain, and bleachers,” which pretty much describes what we see there today. Except now it’s called Pelham Bay Little Park. As the Parks web page explains, “In 1997, Council Member Madeleine Provenzano provided $7,000 to replace sod in the infield, and the Pelham Parkway Little League reconstructed the fence.” (http://kermitproject.org)
Reiss Field has now been renamed Pelham Bay Little League Park.
http://kermitproject.org/bronx/newdeal/reiss01.html http://kermitproject.org/newdeal/pdf/1939.html#1939/10/31 http://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/bronx-park/highlights/11868
Project originally submitted by Frank da Cruz on June 17, 2015.
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